We also have ratings for all the national shows for the past week, who is and isn't watching and how each segment on Raw gained or lost audience.
We also have our regular weekly features with results of all the major arena events around the world, as well as all the major TV show
Also in this week's issue:
--More on the new CMLL world champion
--Angle being dropped and wrestlers getting new characters
--Identities revealed of two decade long regulars
--90s star resurfaces as a new member of Perros Del Mal
--The retirement of Abdullah the Butcher and a Japanese ceremony to take place
--90s star returns to All Japan to try and bring back their world title
--All Japan's start of the year angle involving all of their championships
--Notes on the new shooter trio
--Notes on end of the year shows in Japan
--Controversy over world jr. title name
--Notes on A-Rod and Torrie Wilson
--Reports on death of Hall of Famer are exaggerated
--More on a new movie about one of pro wrestling's biggest stars and who will and won't be involved
--Two of the most famous tag teams of the past 20 years face off later this month
--Unique pro wrestling show set for Los Angeles
--More on Kim Neilson on "Biggest Loser."
--Anniversary of the end of one of the longest running weekly TV shows in U.S. history, an it was a pro wrestling show
--Update on Barry Windham
--Update on Luke Robinson
--A look back at 70s star Buddy Colt
--Famous evangelist's father was a 60s wrestling star
--Notes on next ROH TV tapings and future matches
--Notes on the Genesis PPV
--TNA's Christmas house shows
--Test of FX as a promotional vehicle for UFC
--State of UFC's welterweight division
--Behind the return of Miguel Torres
--Updates on Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos
--Notes on ticket sales for upcoming UFC events
--Notes on this week's Showtime event
--UFC debuts in Sweden
--More on UFC's fastest fight arguments
--Notes on the UFC return to Japan and how tickets are doing
--Fighter retires on camera, and then says he has no recollection of it
--Lots of new UFC fights announced
--30-year-old solid level MMA fighter passes away tragically
--Sapp signs to face a Gracie
New subscribers ordering 24 or 40 issues have to let us know what major story (ies) of the past 11 years you are most interested in
and we'll send the issue with the best coverage of that story. We've got coverage of every major PPV event and world wide spectacular, every major star switching promotions, histories of companies like FMW, Rings and New Japan, retirement and obit issues of every major star who fits into those descriptions over the past 11 years, as well as our biggest issue every year, the annual awards issue, and our most controversial issue of every year, the Hall of Fame issue. Our most requested issues in our history are:
*November 17, 1997 (full details of everything leading to the most famous wrestling match finish of modern times at the Survivor Series
plus a history of in-ring double-crosses)
*December 21, 1998 (the complete Vince McMahon-Bret Hart conversation right before the Survivor Series match so you'll know exactly what was said--the conversation played in edited form both on the inaugural broadcast of Confidential as well as in Wrestling with Shadows, but everything that was said between the two about the match that was going to take place that same night)
*August 1, 1994 (the most detailed coverage anywhere of the Vince McMahon steroid trial, an issue praised in numerous newspaper article
and Sex, Lies and Headlocks)
*March 26, 2001 (death of WCW and history of pro wrestling on the Turner networks)
*October 22, 2001 (why the adult audience has left pro wrestling in such great numbers and what needed to have been done to save them)
*July 8, 1991 (Ric Flair leaves WCW as world champion/Zahorian steroid trial)
*February 8, 1993 (the life and times of Andre the Giant)
*May 13, 2002 (the life story of the most incredible pro wrestling career ever, a look at Lou Thesz, in one of the largest issues of our
*January 27, 2003 (part one of the two-part series covering the career and life of The Sheik)
*February 3, 2003 (Part two on The Sheik including thoughts from people who worked with him and where he stands historically)
*March 24, 2003 (history of the WWWF title, inside behind the Sammartino, Backlund and Backlund era)
*April 21, 2003 (history of WWF continues with the expansion nationally, the death of the regional territories and the rise of Hulk
*May 12, 2003 (The life and death of Elizabeth, and the rise of fall of Lex Luger)
*June 9, 2003 (Part 1 of history of WWF vs. WCW wars and what many say was the greatest year in U.S. wrestling; plus a look at Fred Blassie)
*June 16, 2003 (Freddie Blassie through the eyes of his biggest rivals and friends)
*July 28, 2003 (Part 2 of the history of the WWF vs. WCW war and the plans to make new superstars in the early 90s, what happened, and the night where the three biggest wrestling companies in the world combined for a joint show and what happened)
*August 25, 2003 (2003 Hall of Fame issue with huge profiles on the controversial career of Shawn Michaels, Chris Benoit as well as
historical features on Earl Caddock and Francisco Flores)
*September 22, 2003 (Part 3 of the history of the WWF vs WCW war with the seeds that caused the collapse of the industry in the 90s,
Zahorian trial, Gulf War controversy, Flair leaves WCW while holding world title and much more)
*October 27, 2003 (The fascinating life of Stu Hart plus the story of Road Warrior Hawk)
*January 19, 2004 (2003 Awards issue)
*February 2, 2004 (History of Toronto wrestling, Jack Tunney life story, Royal Rumble and Battle Royal history)
*February 23, 2004 (History of Guerrero family with Eddy's win over Brock Lesnar)
*March 1, 2004 (History of WWF continues with the period that brought the company down in early 1992, the mistakes, the real stories and how the business changed)
*March 8, 2004 (History of Wrestlemania, its greatest matches and best and worst shows as voted both by wrestlers and non-wrestlers and
Wrestlemania history books)
*July 5, 2004 (A look behind the scenes and Ric Flair's book and his background with Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan)
*July 12, 2004 (A look at more on Ric Flair's book and his comments on Bruno Sammartino, Bret Hart and Mick Foley)
*August 16, 2004 (History of the Olympians in pro wrestling)
*August 23, 2004 (2004 Hall of Fame issue and biggest issue of the year with huge profiles on Kazushi Sakuraba, Undertaker, Bob Backlund,
Masahiro Chono, Ultimo Dragon, Kurt Angle and Tarzan Lopez--this counts as one issue if you are asking for a free issue, but ordered
separately, due to size, is $6 in North America and $7 overseas)
*October 4, 2004 (the life and times of Big Bossman; as well as details of the life and times of one of the most influential men world
wide in pro wrestling history, Jim Barnett)
*November 15, 2004 (the full story of what happened between Kurt Angle and Daniel Puder, plus coverage of the most important week in the
history of TNA)
*January 24, 2005 (2004 Awards issue, Rock and WWE part company)
*March 14, 2005 (the 50 biggest money players in the history of WWF and a look at their Hall of Fame)
*May 9, 2005 (the life and times of Chris Candido)
*June 20, 2005 (The full story behind Paul Heyman and the death of ECW, as well as coverage of One Night Stand, Hardcore Homecoming and behind the scenes of both shows)
*July 18, 2005 (death of Shinya Hashimoto and his records with a look at the fall of New Japan, the Matt Hardy angle, tons of WWE firings,
Cornette firing in detail as well as problems of a WWE developmental territory in our biggest news issue of the year which is a
double-sized issue and would be $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*August 24, 2005 (2005 Hall of Fame issue with career profiles of Paul Heyman, HHH and Freebirds plus debut of MMA Hall of Fame)
*September 12, 2005 (History of Mid South Wrestling)
*October 10, 2005 (Life and Times of the Ultimate Warrior)
*November 21, 2005 (Life and Times of Eddy Guerrero and Crusher, double issue $6 on its own and $7 overseas)
*December 5, 2005 (The Eddy Guerrero special issue, double issue $6 on its own, $7 overseas)
*January 9, 2006 (The life and times of Superstar Billy Graham, plus New Year's Eve 2005 coverage)
*January 16, 2006 (2005 Awards double issue, $6 or $7 overseas)
*April 3, 2006 (Story of Ann Calvello and the history of Roller Derby--many called this the best issue of the Observer ever)
*April 10, 2006 (Behind the scenes at the 2006 Wrestlemania/Hall of Fame week)
*July 24, 2006 (The History of the Von Erichs and World Class Championship Wrestling--the most unreal story ever in wrestling)
*September 4, 2006 (The Rise and Fall of Kurt Angle; 2006 Hall of Fame inductions of Eddie Guerrero, Paul Bowser, Masakatsu Funaki, Aja Kong and Hiroshi Hase including tons of wrestling history around the world from the 20s through the 60s, the evolution of working to not working in Japan, and a look at Guerrero in hindsight, double issue $6 or $7 overseas)
*October 9, 2006 (A look back nine years later at the life and legacy of Brian Pillman with tons of inside information about what made him
tick as his real objectives)
*November 15, 2006 (History of WCW part one, Eric Bischoff's book and how the industry was changed forever)
*November 20, 2006 (History of WCW part two, Why Jim Ross left WCW, How Bischoff changed the company, signing of Hulk Hogan, Beginning of Nitro, Jesse Ventura, Brian Pillman, Chris Jericho and signing Wrestlemania planned celebrity away)
*November 27, 2006 (History of WCW part three, When Bischoff challenged McMahon to fight; Truth and fiction around Bret Hart
signing with WCW and why it didn't click)
*December 6, 2006 (details behind Pride's offers to sell promotion and Part four of History of WCW part four, Hogan-Goldberg match and why there was no rematch, WCW loses NBC network deal in 1999 and the real reasons the company fell apart)
*January 22, 2007 (2006 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*February 14, 2007 (Life and Times of Bam Bam Bigelow)
*March 5, 2007 (WWE begins plans that will change the business)
*March 12, 2007 (Life and Times of Mike Awesome)
*March 19, 2007 (Life and Times of Ernie Ladd)
*April 4, 2007 (Life and Times of Badnews Allen Coage--which many are calling one of the best issues in history)
*July 2, 2007 (Part one of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 5, 2007 (Part two of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 10, 2007 (Part three of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 19, 2007 (Part four of the Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 23, 2007 (Part five of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*July 25, 2007 (Part six of Benoit double murder-suicide)
*August 15, 2007 (The legend of the God of Japanese wrestling and his influence on MMA, Karl Gotch)
*October 15 (2007 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas including inductions of The Rock, Tom Packs and the original
*November 12, 2007 (Life and times of Fabulous Moolah and history of U.S. women's wrestling) .
*December 31, 2007 (History of Ric Flair and the heyday of wrestling at the Greensboro Coliseum)
*January 21, 2008 (2007 Awards issue, double issue $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*March 17, 2008 (Life and times of Johnny Weaver)
*March 24, 2008 (Life and times of Gary Hart)
*April 10, 2008 (Farewell to Ric Flair; My thoughts, Shawn Michaels talks of Flair's meaning to him; Hall of Fame; Wrestlemania double
issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas)
*August 11, 2008 (Ric Flair leaves WWE; Updated history of pro wrestlers and MMA fighters who went to the Olympics)
* September 8, 2008 (2008 Hall of Fame double issue, $7 on its own, $8 overseas; part one of Killer Kowalski bio)
* September 15, 2008 (Life and Times of Evan Tanner)
* September 22, 2008 (The amazing career of Killer Kowalski, one of our most in-depth bios)
You can also order any of these issues on their own for $4 in North America or $5 overseas.
For the United States, it is $12 for 4 issues, $29 for 12, $55 for 24, $91 for 40 and $118 for 52. In Canada and Mexico, rates are $13.50 for
4, $33 for 12, $61 for 24, $101 for 40 and $131 or 52. In Europe, you can get the fastest delivery and best rates by sending to
. For the rest of the world, rates are $15.50 for 4, $41 for 12, $78 for 24, $126 for 40 issues and $163 for
If you order by mail with a check, cash or money order (P.O. Box 1228, Campbell, CA 95009-1228), you can get $1 off in every price range.
We now have available personally autographed copies of Tributes II, our latest book, as well as a DVD that comes with it talking more
about the subjects in the book. The book covers the life stories of Lou Thesz, Wahoo McDaniel, Elizabeth, Fred Blassie, Road Warrior Hawk,
Andre the Giant, Curt Hennig, Johnny Valentine, Davey Boy Smith, Terry Gordy, Owen Hart, Stu Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, The Sheik and Tim Woods. To get all of those biographies as back issues of the Observer would be a $60 value today. This is a collection of some of the best
Observer articles of the past several years in a hardcover, full-color format that is 239 pages. There is also a foreword by Bret Hart. The book
price is $12.95 plus $3.50 for shipping costs in the U.S., $10 for shipping costs to Canada and $12 for shipping costs outside North
America. You can order the book the same way you order the newsletter.
--A clarification regarding C.M. Punk at the 1/28 Chicago show, Punk will be walking to the ring with Chael Sonnen but he will not be in his corner. The idea was that of Sonnen's, who asked Punk to do so.
--The UFC announced Brian Stann vs. Alessio Sakara for the 4/14 debut in Stockholm, Sweden, which will be a Fuel TV event. It's Stann's first fight since his loss to Chael Sonnen.
--With his showing in Iowa, there has been a lot of talk about Rick Santorum's involvement with wrestling. Santorum worked for Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, the same law firm as Jerry McDevitt. He worked as a lobbyist for WWE in the 80s in the state of Pennsylvania.
--Regarding the Miesha Tate vs. Ronda Rousey fight talked about last night, that has actually been talked about for at least a month, both are denying the fight is on for 3/3 in Columbus, OH. Tate on Facebook wrote, "So I come back from training & the whole world is saying I'm fighting Ronda, yet I would know if I was, so pls dismiss as rumors at this point, thanks." Rousey only said that she has not signed a contract for such a fight.
--From the twitter of Kevin Nash, as he challenges the Ultimate Warrior to a shoot fight:
"Never realized I had a problem with Jim (Warrior). Seemed to get along fine in Scottsdale. Come on my clown, turn that frown upside down."
"A true warrior never turns down a challenge. Put up a 100K. I'll do the same. 3 rounds, mma rules, winner takes all."
"I'm talking shoot not sports entertainment. Jim Hellwig needs to put up or shut the fuck up. Day before Mania in Miami area."
"Warrior will have to pass all hiv and hep a b and c tests. I'll do the same."
"I'm tired of the guy talking shit about the boys & me. When they stop it or you tap, I'll quit, or you can apologize like the c*nt you are."
"You should watch your mouth. You know your a bitch. You want nothing to do with me. You ran out of your gym to avoid me."
"You want to go pussy, name the place and time. If not, shut your dick sucker and forget my name. Bitch make me 100K richer."
--Holy junior high, batman.
--The premiere of UFC Tonight on Fuel on Tuesday did 39,000 viewers, which is more than double Fuel's prime time average, but it also tells you they are starting on the ground floor.
--Jim Ross made reference to growing a beard and moustache, which became public earlier this week when he did a guest shot as an announcer at an Oklahoma City Thunder NBA game. He just said he didn't shave over the holidays but is getting rid of it. So no coming back as a heel manager.
--There is a pre sale for a WWE Raw house show on 3/11 in Buffalo at Ticketmaster with the code term ROAD2WM
--Hulk Hogan's Micro Championship Wrestling, the short-lived show that Hulk Hogan was the key figure in, debuts on the TV channel Showcase Action in Canada on Monday night at 11 p.m.
--TNA for its show tomorrow night in Westbury, NY is doing a food drive asking fans to bring healthy and nutritious canned food to the show at the NYCB Theater to feed needy. The person who donates the most will win a TNA Brown Bag merchandise special. They are headlining with Bobby Roode vs. Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy in a three-way for the title, Kurt Angle vs. James Storm and Gunner, managed by Ric Flair, vs. Devon.
--The Miz was at the Anaheim vs. San Jose Sharks game last night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, plugging the Raw taping on 1/16. According to reader Garry Kamansky, he waved to the crowd. "The fan reaction, however, was pure apathy. There was zero reaction to him. Not even a few stray claps. I might have been the only person there to recognize him. I felt embarrassed for him." I remember many years ago going to a Sharks game with a WCW performer who at the time was not a main eventer or anything. It wasn't as if people were going crazy or anything, but there was definitely recognition.
--Chris Hero will be working the 1/20 ROH show in Philadelphia. Hero is taking dates only a few weeks into the future awaiting if everything will be clear for him to sign with WWE.
--Kenny King vs. Matt Jackson, with their respective tag partners in the corner, has been added to Saturday night's ROH tapings at the Du Burns Arena. Sounds like another chance to stomp on Rhett Titus' bad knee while he's out of action.
--Mick Foley is going to the U.K. again for another comedy tour. His schedule is
2/24 in London at the Leicester Square Theater
2/25 in London at the Leicester Square Theater
2/27 in Cardiff at the Glee Club
2/28 in Birmingham at the Glee Club
2/29 in Sheffield at Memorial Hall
3/1 in Liverpool at The Olympia
3/2 in Dublin at the O'Reilly Theater
--Poll on he UFC Tonight TV debut on Tuesday
75.9% of those responding didn't see the show
--What show this week do you have the most interest in?
New Japan Tokyo Dome show 46.7%
TNA Genesis 25.2%
--Best show of late
UFC 140 Jones vs. Machida 30.9%
WWE TLC 20.6%
UFC 141 16.4%
ROH Final Battle 12.0%
Inoki bom ba ye 10.0%
Ultimate Fighter finals 5.3%
TNA Final Resolution 3.9%
Strikeforce Melendez vs. Masvidal 0.8%
--Does Brock Lesnar retiring have any impact on your interest in MMA?
Yes, now less interested 42.1%
None at all 55.9%
Will be more interested 2.0%
Even among this subset, that's kind of a staggering number.
--Biggest show left this month
Royal Rumble 59.6%
UFC on FOX 29.1%
TNA Genesis 4.5%
UFC 142 Brazil 4.5%
UFC on FX 1.7%
Strikeforce this weekend 0.6%
--Max Holloway, with a 4-0 record, makes his UFC debut on 2/4 facing Dustin Poirier as a replacement for the injured Ricardo Lamas. That's a tough debut for anyone as Poirier has looked good in his recent fights, including a win over Pablo Garza on the Anaheim show.
--Tickets go on sale tomorrow for the 2/15 UFC show in Omaha that will air on Fuel headlined by Diego Sanchez vs. Jake Ellenberger, Stefan Struve vs. Dave Herman and Stipe Miocic vs. Phil De Fries. Tickets are priced at $150, $100, $75, $50 and $35. It will be a three-hour show on Fuel starting at 8 p.m. There will be a pre-game show on Fuel at 7 p.m. as well as a post-game show. The Internet pre sale for UFC TGHUnewsletter readers is currently going on at UFC.com
--The HBK reference in rap also came in a song from Iasmu featuring Loverance called "Swaggin all day" in a song where he says, "She don't like HBK, then she must be gay" at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY80uYzEFuA
at the 1:02 mark (thanks to Cyrus Yamat)
--Michaels did acknowledge on twitter the reference to him in the song mentioned yesterday which is called "up," by LoveRance.
--IHWE will have its annual Hall of Fame ceremony at a show on 4/21 in Fort Worth. They will induct Kamala (whose son will accept for him), Jazz, Prince Al Farat, Krusher Kong (who worked briefly for WCW as part of the Colossal Kongs tag team), Spoiler 2000, as well as honor the Texas Wrestling Academy school (the one run by Rudy Gonzalez) and the Dallas Sportatorium. Among those they've inducted in the past include Johnny Valentine, Skandor Akbar, Matt Borne, Rodney Mack and Necro Butcher.
--A funny line in a story in the Times of India on the Ring Ka King promotion, noting cricket star Harbhajan Singh's involvement, called it India's first reality boxing show. (thanks to Michael Gregson)
--On the Australia TV show we talked about yesterday, Freddie Flintoff and Darren Gough compete in a series of challenges. So they were supposed to face each other in a tag team match in Mexico, but since Flintoff couldn't wrestle because he got hurt in training running the ropes, his trainer Hours, took his place in the match and he just worked the corner. (thanks to Graeme Cameron)
--A new promotion called MEXPW runs 2/25 in Los Angeles headlined by The Sheik.
--New Era Wrestling on 1/21 in Shelbyville, IN at the Boys Club headlined by Rob Conway.
--Power Trip Wrestling on 2/10 in Luton, Bedfordshire, UK at the Stopsley Working Men's Club headlined by Jonny Storm.
--All Star Wrestling on 1/13 in Cloverdale, BC at the Fairgrounds, which is an old stop in the British Columbia territorial days featuring Gangrel vs. Vance Nevada, 2 women's matches and more, including Gorgeous Michelle Starr who is still wrestling.